Tag Archives: Stillness

21-Day Meditation Challenge: UPDATE and Research!

So — we’re into day 8 of Deepak Chopra‘s 21-day meditation challenge. How’s it going? Are you finding it easy to stick to meditating? Are you finding it hard? Are you noticing any benefits? Are you noticing any strange thoughts coming up? I’d love to hear about any/all of it! Let me know in the comments. If you’re finding it somewhat difficult to stick to the meditation, you might want to read about the importance of stillness and unplugging. This may (or may not) help to motivate you to stick with the meditations.

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I came across some research this past week that I thought you might find interesting, especially in the context of meditations. From the Daily Stat:

After just 5 weeks of daily 5-to-16-minute training sessions in focused-attention meditation (“Relax with your eyes closed, and focus on the flow of your breath…”), research subjects showed strong brain-wave changes associated with positive emotions, says a team led by Christopher A. Moyer of the University of Wisconsin. The findings suggest that the benefits of meditation may be more accessible than was previously believed, the researchers say.

Pretty cool, eh? Of course, the Daily Stat is a secondary source, so if you’re interested in reading the journal article, you can find it here: Frontal Electroencephalographic Asymmetry Associated With Positive Emotion Is Produced by Very Brief Meditation Training.

So, maybe this is more motivation for you to get back to (or start!) meditating.

 

Do You Know Why a Stop Sign Has 8 Sides?

No? Me either, but I did come across a cool post about the cross-cultural history of the stop sign. For instance, did you know that for the past 2,000 years, stop signs — regardless of the country of origin — have been octagonal? Or, did you know that the origin of the stop sign has nothing to do with traffic!? From Mitch Ditkoff:

Apparently, each side of this iconic 8-sided, cross-cultural symbol of hoped-for stillness, has been imbued with a secret teaching of great import:

1. Slow down
2. Pay attention
3. Look around
4. Pause
5. Look within
6. Breathe deeply
7. Appreciate
8. Move consciously

After reading his post, I will most certainly not look at a stop sign the same way. In fact, it reminds me of 21-day meditation challenge I wrote about the other day. There’s still time to join me! If you think you don’t want to catch up and do 4 meditations in one day, then I suggest you at least read about the positives to taking a moment for stillness.

 

21-Day Meditation Challenge: Join Me!

I just finished listening to Day 1 of Deepak Chopra‘s 21-day meditation challenge. Boy, did it feel good to meditate again! When was the last time you sat (and didn’t fiddle with technology or thoughts) for an extended period of time? I’ve written about the importance of stillness and unplugging before, but now I’m offering you an opportunity to follow-through on it.

Why don’t you join me and thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands?) of other people and follow along with Deepak’s meditations for the next 21 days.

I really like being part of something bigger than “me” and this is certainly an opportunity to feel connected to an infinite number of people. As I’m listening to the meditation, I can be sure that there will be countless people who will also be listening to the same track as me (at some point during the day).

So, whaddaya say — let’s meditate together over the next 21 days.

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I will say that the meditations are couched in abundance. That is, the theme of the meditations have to do with abundance. Most folks think of abundance as an abundance of cash, but there are many other kinds of abundance. One can have an abundance of peace, joy, comfort, love, and the list goes on.

So — head on over to the landing page and listen to the first meditation because it started today. You can do it!

Finding a Moment for Stillness, Peace, Quiet, Calm, or Silence

How often do you find yourself (or maybe your colleague) moving quickly from obligation to obligation without regard for a second to sit still? In our fast-paced lives, rarely do you see someone take the time for themselves. That is, rarely do people take time out of their lives for themselves.

While I think this is important to recognize, I also realize that the way that life is structured, it’s not easy to take time for yourself. There are always those 4 or 5 things at the bottom of the to-do list. Usually, things you’d like to do, like: play my guitar; hit the links; start writing my book; etc. I realize that it’s not easy. There’s so much going on in our lives that we often go from task to task, just trying to get it all done. I’ve already written about the importance of , but I think it’s equally important to take time between tasks.

What do I mean by that?

Take, for example, the person who just gets out of an important meeting at work and realizes that they are a few minutes late to pick-up their kid from daycare. They race from the elevator to their car and fly out of the parking garage, anxiously looking at the clock. They get to the daycare center and end up being a few minutes late (as predicted). However, this lateness isn’t an issue as there are other children who are awaiting rides. More importantly, our main character’s child, the one who needed to be picked up at “just the right time,” is busy engaged with one of their schoolmates.

There are a few things we could glean from this example, but I’m aiming for one: think about the time that our main character was “rushing” and thinking about “being late” to pick up their child. During this time, our main character’s physiology was reacting. The adrenal glands were pumping adrenaline into the veins (as the body does when it encounters stress). This increased stressful state, however, was completely unnecessary. There was no imminent danger on the way from work to the daycare center for our main character. Our main character would have arrived (at the same time) and without the added adrenaline coursing through their veins. Most notably, our main character would have arrived much more relaxed had they taken even a few seconds to sit still.

There are millions of examples of this happening everyday around the world. I would hazard a guess that they are on the decline. With the growing prevalence of meditation in the western world (), people are learning how to be relaxed. They are learning to take things a little slower and set aside some time in the day for themselves. I think this bodes well for those people who do so, but also for the rest of the people in the world. As we lower our , we are better equipped to deal with the stressors of our daily lives (without overreaction).

So, do yourself a favor and before you engage in your next activity/task, take a minute (or a few seconds) to clear your thoughts and clear your head. You’ll be surprised how useful you may find this.